NIGHTWISH Mainman Discusses Illegal Music Downloading

Once There Was conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen on December 5, 2007 in Umeå, Sweden. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow;

Once There Was: Even though Anette [Olzon, vocals] is not here let's first talk a bit about NIGHTWISH's U.S. tour. How was it for you guys?

Tuomas: It was much better than we ever hoped for and during the tour we got what we went there for which was basically to get some self-esteem for Anette. And you could really see that during the first two weeks she was a bit scared and a bit more reserved on stage and not that convincing, which is only natural, but at the end of the tour, she was dancing on stage and she owned the whole audience.

Once There Was: But when I saw the gigs from the beginning of the tour I already thought she was quite good…

Tuomas: Yes, it was OK, of course, but you could still see that she was not yet so naturally into it. But she definitely was at the end.

Once There Was: And how did it go with the voice?

Tuomas: She had her bad days, but that was to be expected, as it will have to be in the future as well. And we had this little three-minute-discussion after the show in Portland where we basically just said, "Stop whining! And stop being such a perfectionist!" Because even though perfectionism is a virtue, in a way, it also poisons the whole atmosphere when it goes over the top. So that was like really the breaking point of the whole tour, I would say. We just told her to stop complaining about not being able to do everything perfectly every night. That's not the idea. But it was also a lot of fun, of course. We had some off days and we went to Disneyland and to Universal Studios in Orlando. And I even got to go to Disneyland with my mom and dad, which was like a once-in-a-lifetime treat. The whole tour was a lot of fun. Well, the beginning was actually a little bit of a hassle, because of sickness and so. The funny thing was that we asked Anette a million times, "Do you have any idea what you are getting yourself into?" and she was always like, "Yeah, yeah…I know." And after two weeks in the U.S., she admitted, "I had no idea." It was kinda funny.

Once There Was: But I guess that is natural.

Tuomas: Yes, you cannot have any idea as long as you don't experience it.

Once There Was: Another important issue in the music business is that illegal downloading is widespread. Do you think it has an effect on you guys like income-wise or anything at all? You as a big-selling artist and you as a not-so-big-selling artist…

Tuomas: When it comes to us, I think it definitely has an impact, but it also goes both ways. So I think in the end it doesn't really hurt us that much. I would like to think that our fans are still the kind of people who want to buy the real thing with the real cover and booklet and everything. And it's also good advertising, you know. You don't have to go to a shop and listen to the album, you can just go to the Internet, download a few songs and then be like, "OK, this sounds good." And I really think that they want to buy the whole album. If there are 10,000 people in the world who don't want to buy it, who are satisfied with just downloading it, it doesn't matter because the commercial factor of the Internet compensates it.

Once There Was: Are there any other current issues in music business that you feel are important and affecting you in some way?

Tuomas: Well, I think this whole thing about releasing an album in different versions is totally getting out of hand. If somebody is doing it, then someone else makes a counterattack and then they make a counterattack and now there is like I don't even know how many different versions of our singles and CDs. And this is all about selling more albums and getting the single to be in the charts longer, it's all about that. This is the way music business works these days. I think it kinda sucks, but, of course, I also don't want to have any bad blood between us and the record labels because they have to do what they have to do. I think it would be really naive for us to say to them "No, you can just have this one version!" because they are trying to do the best for us as well. But I understand the fans' frustration also. And the other thing that really sucks is that the radios are really strict these days, at least the big commercial radios, about how long tracks can be. It's gone to the limits beyond ridiculous. It depends on the country of course but for instance UK said that they were not going to play "Amaranth", not once.

Read the entire interview at Once There Was.

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